Tobias Overath

Tobias Overath

Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

External Address: 
308 Research Drive, LSRC Room B248a, Duke University, Box 90999, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
90999, Durham, NC 27708


Research in our lab investigates how sound is processed in the human brain. More specifically, we study the acoustic building blocks that must be assembled in complex listening situations, such as when we engage in a conversation or listen to a symphony. One branch of our research program centers on the neural representation of fundamental acoustic parameters, e.g. pitch and timbre, and the neural mechanisms for detecting meaningful acoustic changes of such parameters within an auditory scene. A second branch of our research investigates auditory perception at a linguistic level and addresses the transformation from speech-specific acoustic analysis to speech-specific linguistic analysis, with an emphasis on temporal integration constants. We employ a combination of behavioral and neuroimaging methods (fMRI, EEG) to elucidate the underlying neural processes in human auditory cortex with high spatial and temporal precision.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University College London (United Kingdom) 2009

  • M.S., Humboldt University of Berlin (Germany) 2004

Overath, T., et al. “An information theoretic characterisation of auditory encoding.Plos Biology, vol. 5, no. 11, 2007, p. e288. Scival, doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0050288. Full Text